Mail-in election cost nearing $37,000; USD 253 touts transparency after publication error halts process Featured

By Chuck Samples and Tagan Trahoon August 15, 2019 571
USD 253 Superintendent Kevin Case (center) discusses aspects of a proposed $78 million facility enhancement bond during a town hall meeting at Trusler Business Center last month. Originally planned for Sept. 5 as a mail-in election, the issue now becomes part of the overall general election ballot Nov. 5. USD 253 Superintendent Kevin Case (center) discusses aspects of a proposed $78 million facility enhancement bond during a town hall meeting at Trusler Business Center last month. Originally planned for Sept. 5 as a mail-in election, the issue now becomes part of the overall general election ballot Nov. 5. KVOE News file photo

The cost of the USD 253 mail-in election that is no longer taking place will likely be lower than the initial estimate, but it has still cost taxpayers over $30,000.


On Wednesday night, the district's Board of Education decided to halt the mail-in election process for a $78 million facility improvement bond -- shortly before the voter registration deadline at 5 pm Thursday and the mailing of over 14,000 ballots to Emporia voters Friday.

Superintendent Kevin Case has said a "technical error" forced the district's hand. Case has been unavailable for further clarification Thursday, but the Emporia Gazette says the legal notice wasn't fully published for its two-week run in the paper.

Lyon County Clerk Tammy Vopat says the original estimate for printing, postage, labor and other costs to be absorbed by the district was $40,000.

Board of Education President Art Gutierrez says he was notified of the error Wednesday morning, at which time the district consulted legal counsel and all other parties involved with the election.

Gutierrez says at the time of the board's regular meeting, board members and district administration were fully aware of the situation, however, a decision on how to proceed had not yet been reached.

Gutierrez believes the district's actions as the situation has unfolded demonstrates their dedication to transparency with local voters.  

Gutierrez says discussions on the district's course of action will be coming at a later time.

Vopat says the district's bond election now becomes part of the overall ballot in November. This will be a traditional "polling place" election, meaning there will be no special mail-in procedures just for the USD 253 bond question.

As far as upcoming dates of note:

*Oct. 15: Voter registration ends
*Oct. 16: Advance vote ballots mailed
*Oct. 19: Special off-site election, Flinthills Mall
*Oct. 21: Advance voting begins at Lyon County Courthouse
*Nov. 4, noon: Advance voting ends
*Nov. 5: General election

More information about the bond is online at www.usd253.org. More information about the upcoming general election is online at www.lyoncounty.org

Click here for KVOE News' original story from Wednesday's Board of Education meeting.

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Last modified on Thursday, 15 August 2019 17:00